Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Slam Poetry: Getting Students Excited

Jim Coppoc.

Some students don't like "traditional" poetry--mostly because they don't understand it. Slam poetry is accessible and enjoyable, and it provides an excellent platform upon which a discussion of devices and conventions can be built. This workshop will focus on how to engage students with slam poetry, how to identity teachable aspects of slam poetry, how to draw connections to "literary" poetry, and how to teach devices and conventions using slam poetry. An annotated bibliography of sources for the classroom will be provided each attendee.

The workshop will be divided into three segments. The first will be devoted to techniques for engaging students, from finding the right video to staging a competition; the second to using slam poetry to teach devices and conventions; and the third to question and answer. Pedagogical concerns will be addressed throughout.


Jim Coppoc  (United States)
Graduate Student
Department of English College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Iowa State University

Jim Coppoc is a 28-year-old father, husband, poet, teacher, and truck driver (in that order) living in Ames, IA. Jim has had more than forty poems published, as well as two chapbooks and two plays, and his first spoken-word album, "Sex, Poetry, and the Open Road," is due out next month on BiFi Records. Jim has also recently received a FOCUS grant from Iowa State University to edit an anthology of spoken-word/literary fusion poetry in the Midwest. Over the years, Jim has done standup comedy at venues like New York Strip, Live! and Caroline's in the City, played folk guitar all over the United States, hosted a syndicated pop-alternative radio show, co-founded the only current working Shakespearian troupe in Iowa, and appeared in more than a dozen plays and musicals. He currently runs the Bohemian Poetry Slam in Ames, and he has been featured at dozens of other slams, university readings, and open mikes around the Midwest.

  • poetry
  • slam poetry
  • motivation
  • pedagogy
  • poetic devices
  • poetic conventions

(60 min. Workshop, English)